First Astros experience is 'field of dreams'

I have been a Houston Astros fans for as long as I can remember. From watching Mike Scott pitch to cheering for the "Killer B's" to crying when we finally made it to the world series...I've worn my stars proudly.

A couple of weeks ago I introduced my young family to the world of Major League Baseball and the Houston Astros. It was the first major league game for my husband Buck, almost four year old son Bradley and 16 month old princess Hannah.

My husband grew up in California and within driving distance of Athletics' and Dodgers' games, but attended neither. He told me he remembers sitting in his grandfather Bert's old workshop listening to the A's games on the radio. So this trip to a game in Houston was the first big league game for him as well. For that reason we decided to make it a mini vacation.

Our trip included a game, visit to the Downtown Aquarium and lunch at BB'S Cafe, owned by RHS grad Brooks Bassler. The shark tank was awesome (and worth the 45- minute wait after seeing son Bradley's excited face) and the gumbo at BB's was even better.

We wanted to stay somewhere downtown and found a great "Home Run Package" at the four-star Hyatt Regency. What a great place to stay as we had free parking and shuttle to and from the ball park.

Growing up, my sister Janie and I were honor roll students and in doing so were eligible to receive free Astros tickets every summer. We loved it. She was a Craig Biggio fan and my favorite was (and still is) Jeff Bagwell.

My mom Kay, hated driving in Houston and would map out the way from Milano to the Astrodome without having to get in on the interstate. We loved the games and the memories shared.

Now it was my time to share this experience with my family for the first time, however, it wasn't at the Astrodome, it was at Minute Maid Park. This was my first game at the current Astros home and it was impressive. The beautiful design, incorporation into the old train station, and the huge retractable roof were amazing.

We had a great time at the game with fantastic seats. The Astros organization is celebrating 10 years at Minute Maid this season. The atmosphere and excitement of the game was still the same to me, even in their "new" home. The memorabilia along the walls and the retired numbers added to the ambiance of this baseball stadium and to the experience.

The Astros beat the Nationals that game, but that wasn't the best part of the night

Bradley was born in 2005, the same year the Astros made it to their first World Series. At four weeks old, he donned his Astros onesie while I sat yelling at the television with my Houston team going up against the Chicago White Sox. We lost in four straight, but I was still so proud of my 'Stros having made it that far.

My son had brought his little baseball glove to the game just in case we got lucky enough to get a foul ball our way.

Towards the end of the game Bradley was getting restless. I asked him what was wrong and he answered, "B wants to go play."

"Down there," I asked, pointing to the field. "Yes," he replied. I explained that he had to be big boy to play on that field.

He stretched his little arms as high as he could and informed me he was a "big boy". I smiled, picked him up and sat him in my lap to watch the rest of the game.

Someday you'll play on that field, baby. Someday.

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2009-07-30 digital edition

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